Parks & Recreation

Ready To Binge
Do you binge-watch? I have to admit that I do that a lot with my brother. If I know that there’s a long weekend on the way, I make sure that my TV show lineup is all set if I am too lazy to go out. Good thing my brother, Mark and I like the same shows.

I am not sure if this is a new type of relaxation we, millennials, have created because my mom would lecture us on how television would strain our eyes, or that when she was our age, she would be out with her friends, either by the lake, or doing something fun.

My parents are not used to watching TV. They would only have it switched on when the news was on, and would turn it off afterwards. What they love to do is have people come over in the house for an afternoon snack, or dinner. In our small community, I think our neighbors know one another because of my parents.

My brother called me up, and told me about their new neighbors, and the weird reactions from our parents during dinner.

A month ago, the Newarks left our neighborhood because Mr. Newark accepted a job offer to work in Malaysia. One of the perks of the job was that he can bring his family with him. They sold their house, and in just a few days, a new family moved in. My mom, as usual, went over and introduced herself to them, and invited them for dinner to welcome them to the neighborhood.

Meeting The Neighbors
The new neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell went to the house at 7 in the evening. After all the formalities, the group had dinner. My mom prepared chicken casserole, steamed veggies and roast beef. Jason, the other half of the Campbells said, “Smells great! Good thing there’s no sushi here. I’m allergic to sushi. Every time I eat 80 sushis, I barf.” My brother, Mark, looked at him and snickered. My mom commented, and said that she never did like eating raw food so it never appears on her dining table. To match Jason’s comedic stint, out of the blue, Mark told the group that he just sold his car for $6. My parents were frantic, and were trying not to scream at him when he immediately followed up his statement with, “I didn’t actually sell my last car. I just forgot where I parked it!” The Campbells and my brother laughed while my parents don’t know how to react.

Turns out the couple were also a fan of Parks and Recreation, one of our favorite TV shows! Jason, and Mark talked about the episodes, and the characters as well. Jason even offered to host a weekend wherein all of us can binge-watch (yes, he invited my parents as well)!

Mark said that mom and dad tried their best not to look as if they don’t know what they are talking about, and would laugh when they laughed.

Hearing my brother’s story, I felt sorry for my parents because they didn’t blend well with our new neighbors. At the same time, I am thrilled to go binge-watch with the neighbors this weekend!

I hope this incident will not ruin my mom’s tradition in welcoming neighbors in our home.

Friends

Celebrating 50 Years of Love

You know you have been watching too much TV when you start quoting them in actual conversations. Yes, I’m guilty!

Last week, my mom called and sought for my help in finding my dad a gift. My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at the end of this month and my mom wanted to surprise my dad.

At first, I thought of organizing an intimate party for them, but both my parents declined. My dad said he just wants a simple celebration, just the two of them. This statement kind of pressured my mom to buy a gift because she thinks my dad has something up his sleeve.

You see, my parents had me at a young age. It was a good thing that both their parents were supportive of them starting their young family. However, they did not rely on their parents to take care of our needs. My dad had to take two jobs to support our family. My mom on the other hand, decided to use her cooking skills by baking pies and selling them in one of the coffee shops nearby. Overall, we had a good life, but it was always the three of us so I guess my dad did not really get to spend a lot of time with my mom, alone.

Before heading out to the mall, I asked my mom to make a list of what she thinks can be potential gifts for dad. When I arrived at their place, she handed me her list and I reviewed it. Looking at it, she has written down what seems to be the usual stuff dad would need. Socks, underwear and a shirt!

“This list! It’s a moo point. It’s like a cow’s opinion; it doesn’t matter. It’s moo.” I told my mom.

My mom gave me a puzzled look and I also was taken aback with what I just said, and then I giggled! My mom laughed at me but still has that look on her face.

Oh my! I have been watching a lot of Friends’ reruns on TV. Though to be quite honest, it was funnier when I throw lines with my friends. Blurting out that line to my mom was like passing a basketball to no one. LOL!

When we arrived in the mall, my mom was still lost in her thoughts. I know my mom won’t be able to let what I said pass, so I explained that it was one of the lines from my favorite TV show, Friends.

“I think what you wanted to say, it’s a moot point and not moo. That’s the sound of a cow” my mom said. I looked at my mom and said, “Well, that’s why it’s comedy.”

I knew she wanted to add more to it, but I immediately ushered her inside the travel agency where I got them tickets to an Asian cruise as an anniversary gift. I might just buy them a box set of Friends’ episodes to accompany them while on this cruise! LOL!

Big Bang Theory

It has been a tiring day today.

 

I finally got home from work after being in a meeting for four hours! We have a presentation next week for a potential client. Our boss is very keen in getting this major account. He even said that if we do get the client’s approval, he will make sure that we get a bonus for a job well done.

Too tired to prepare my dinner, I decided to switched the TV on and began flipping channels.  Luckily Big Bang Theory was on. My brother, and I love this show! I am not really into science but these guys make me want to learn it again. While watching, I suddenly remembered an incident that just took place last month when my brother, and I had lunch at my parent’s house.

 

We usually have a once a month Sunday lunch over at my parent’s house. My mom said it is her way of catching up with what is going on in our lives. As for Mikey and I, we also use the time to catch up on our favorite TV show. When we are together, we sound like sports commentators assessing the episodes that we have watched and throwing each other lines of what we have seen on a recent episode.  

 

Over lunch, my brother announced he was getting married. We were all shocked because he had never mentioned to us before that he was seeing someone.Of course my mom, and I asked him about who she is, what she does, where’d they met, and how did the proposal go.

 

My brother looked at both of us, and said “Bazinga!

 

I hit him on his arm, and laughed. Mikey and I were laughing like crazy that I nearly fell of my chair. We were still laughing, and when I turn to my parents, I could see the confused look on my parent’s faces. My dad tried to act cool about it by eating his lunch, but  my mom is unsure whether she should be crying, or not. I wanted to explain but I just couldn’t stop laughing.

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After all the laughing had died down, my dad cleared his throat. Our dad clearing his throat meant he is waiting for an explanation for all the laughing. My brother immediately filled in my parents about the Big Bang Theory TV show. While explaining my brother was slowly shifting his voice to sound like Sheldon (played by Jim Parsons in case some of my readers are clueless as well). He then explained that when Sheldon wants to prank one of his friends, he would create a story, and then when he would grasp their attention, and utter the word, “Bazinga!”

My mom looked horrified, and asked if that means my brother is not really getting married. My brother hugged my mom, and said”I am not getting married mom. It was just a joke.” She felt sad because she has already chosen a motif for my brother’s wedding!

Mikey, and I looked at one another, and laughed!

 

Those were good times, and I have to admit, still makes me laugh. Challenge is on! I need to think of topping that for our next Sunday lunch!

 

I will do that tomorrow because now, I need to snooze.

Looney Tunes

“Friends for Life”

This has been our group’s motto since we were in grade school. Even after a couple of decades, a dozen of kids and half a dozen house moves later, we still manage to stay in touch. Not all of it were good times though. Some days two or three of us would fight (we’re a group of five) but in the end, we always try to settle our differences because we see our group as our extended family.

Every year (or when we can make our schedules meet), we choose a house that we’d spend the night and catch up with one another. A night where we just think about ourselves.

It’s my turn this year and I actually wanted to back down. Times got a bit tough for us last 2014, so my family of four had to move back to my parent’s house for a while until we can get back on our feet. My parents welcomed the idea because this means more time with their grandchildren.

I told the girls my situation and they all shrieked. Everyone loves my mom’s cooking especially her chicken casserole and vegetable au gratin. It was set.

Saturday night came and everyone started coming. Janice, Heather, Ginger and Martha. As always, my mom prepared her chicken casserole au gratin for dinner. Janice, our group’s stand up comedian, could not wait for dinner to be finished, so she started acting goofy at the dinner table.

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She started off with our favorite cartoon character, Bugs Bunny. Since there were some huge slices of carrots on the gratin, she grabbed one, had a few bites and then said “What’s up Doc?”The whole group was laughing so hard with Janice’s Bugs Bunny impersonation. Just as I was about to do my own version, I saw the puzzled look on both my parents’ faces.

From the look on mom’s face, she’s been itching to ask Janice why she keeps asking the question, but instead, she kept stuffing herself with food.

My family did not have a lot. While most of the people in our neighborhood got television sets in every room, we only share one centrally located in our living room. My dad, being the man of the house, always had it on watching documentaries, and news. As for us kids, what we would do is sneak out from time to time, and watch TV at our friend’s house. There are times that when we do sleep overs, I binge watch whatever is on my friend’s TV that is not about the news, and other boring stuff.

Time For Dessert

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Just as my mom was about to ask the question, I stood up and asked if they still have room for dessert. Everyone raised their hand so I quickly asked my mom to help me. She followed me to the kitchen. My mom went to the fridge, and took out the peach crumble pie she made earlier, she casually asked me, “What’s up Doc? But the most important question is, Who is this Doc?” I looked at her and laughed!

She pulled me to one side and asked me if Janice was seeing a psychiatrist or something. She kept pinching me to keep quiet because they could hear us from the dining room.

I just muffled. Luckily, I had my phone with me, and decided to let her view a YouTube video of Bugs Bunny uttering those words. I am not sure if my mom felt relieved that it was just a cartoon show, and that her daughter is not friends with a loon.

The whole scenario really made my day. I wonder if I can submit the story to Reader’s Digest and get featured next month. LOL!

You’re Killin Me Smalls

Technology does not suit well with my parents. A few years back, it was a struggle to teach my mom how to use a mobile phone. She kept shaking her head, and telling me that she does not need it because we still have our telephone at home. I argued that it’s for emergencies. She shrugged me off, but soon realized the importance when one night, when she was doing her nightly jog, she came across a man who looked a bit suspicious. Long story short, she finally saw the advantage of it.

I live just a few blocks away from my parent’s house. Working as a freelance writer allows me to have a lot of free time on my hands and, visit them as often as I can.

It’s very nice having them so close. Every once in while I stay the night.. Just like last Sunday, I called up my mom, and told her that I will be staying over the house because my roommate was having a party at our place. Mom was excited to prepare dinner, a rare occasion since my dad spends most of his time in front of the television.

I arrived at about three in the afternoon. My dad was already in the family room, in front of his 1960’s television set, flipping channels, so I decided to go up to my room to take a quick nap.

Mom woke me up, and asked if I can help my dad with his TV. I went down, and joined him. He was scratching his head because when he chose a channel, the TV signal would go off, and when it came back up, it would go to a different channel. I asked my dad if I could give it a try. He handed me the remote, and I tried to make it work for about half an hour. I did all the troubleshooting techniques that I know, and even called up my boyfriend for some technical assistance. . I was getting impatient, as it seemed the TV was not getting any better, I blurted out, “You’re killin me smalls!” My dad looked at me blankly, and just nodded.

Yeah, it’s a small TV he says. I looked at him, and laughed! Tears were literally coming out of my eyes!

My dad turned red, and was about to get up his chair. I immediately got hold of myself, and told him the synopsis of The Sandlot movie where one of the lead character was a boy named Scottie Smalls, and it was because of him being naive, and that the expression was out of frustration when he didn’t get what his teammates were talking about. I made him remember that it was the movie that made me want to be a baseball player when I was younger.

He just kept nodding his head, but I know he still does not understand it. I was about to explain it further then mom called us for dinner. My dad did not bring it up when we were having dinner. I feel embarrassed for laughing out that loud that I know I have to make amends.

I was back in my room, still feeling the guilt of my actions, I suddenly remember that my dad’s birthday is coming up. I have decided that since the TV is too old school already, I can give him a brand-new TV complete with audio installation as a birthday gift. My dad loves going to the movies but hates the cinema seats with a passion so this will be a great idea!

As I was about to search online on what brands to buy, I remembered Larry, a friend of mine, recommending a company who does audio / video installation. I checked in my bag, and found the business card, Layer-1 Technologies.

The next day, I called them up, and gave them details about what I want for my parent’s home theater set up. I hope my dad will love this gift. I can’t wait to see his reaction when he sees it all set up! I also need to buy him a few DVDs to start off his collection. The Sandlot movie maybe, so that we can all watch it together. I hope he’ll understand what I meant! I guess I will see. Either way I look forward to seeing one childhood favorite movies.

 

Ya See, Ya See? (Donated)

So since we are new to blogging, and forgot to set up the user commenting function (since fixed) we missed out on a great story!

Becky Stripe emailed us on May 1st with this great story… we took the liberty of posting the video she’s talking about…

Here goes:
“Finally! When I saw your blog I knew that somebody else understood!

Continue reading »

More Likely to Get Killed on the Way to the Airport

My first story is much like the one my brother wrote about earlier. You probably remember what he wrote about our next-door neighbor, Mr. Quinlan. This story happened in the back of his new limo.

For a long time everybody in our neighborhood knew that it was Mr. Quinlan’s dream to someday run his own limousine service. Well, about three months ago he finally quit his job (for 25 years he was a mailman) and started advertising everywhere. He proudly called his new business Austin Chauffeurs. Ache and I decided hire him to give our parents a ride to the airport. One of the most important ingredients in the story is Mr. Quinlan’s wacky sense of humor.

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Live Long and Prosper

I’ll never forget the night when my friend Charlie stopped by. I was still in my third year of college, so I was still living with my parents. When I was growing up, Charlie was a permanent fixture around our house. Being neighbors, we had gone through elementary and high school together and were like brothers.

Anyway, he was home for spring break and had decided to stop over to say hi and catch up. We hadn’t seen him for about six months! He filled us in on what had been happening in college. Strangely enough, he had very little to say about school itself. He was more excited about the carpet cleaning business that he had started in an effort to Continue reading »

Yada Yada Yada

My father is a CPA who has worked for the same firm for the past 21 years. Over the years his boss and his boss’ wife have become close friends with my parents. I remember one evening, a year or so ago, when my parents had them over for dinner and they invited my sister and I to join them. Something that night, during that dinner, stuck with Leila and me.

Here’s what happened: Continue reading »

Yabba Dabba Doo!

Welcome to our Blog,

My friends call me “Ache”, but my Mom still refers to me by my given name Achin (pronounced Ay`-kin, like “My achin’ back”). I’m a 25-year-old grad student who just recently realized that my naive parents are in need of our help, bless their hearts. They were both born and raised in Bombay, India and then brought my younger sister and me over to this country when we were just toddlers. Dhanmati was 18 months old and I was 2½. I’m not sure what the transition was, but at some point in time my parents began calling my baby sister, Leila. My sister is Continue reading »